Thursday, June 08, 2006


The WH Gets Its "Justice"

So the WH has got its man -- or at least the man of the past few years.

Before the WH starts getting into full crow mode (according to the NPR spin, in my translation from "snooty, we're 'liberal' elites" to English, they are delaying this lest they be forced to eat crow) about capturing Zarqawi, let me make a few points. If I am wrong, sign me up for a book contract as wrong is the new right (cf. Ted Rall). If I am right -- allow me in a few years to say "I told you so" -- as I did, right here and now. All five of you who read this blog.

(1) Bush calls this killing "justice"? It is nothing of the sort -- justice means the murderer getting tried and then sentanced to life in prison rather than dying a martyr's death. What happened was vengeance, maybe. Maybe part of war and is thus not vengeance, but something a little more acceptable (I know -- I'll get flamed by people from more pacifist traditions than I), but it surely is not justice.

(2) Not only will the killing of "Number 2" not decrease violence, it will increase violence: Zarqawi's death will be seen as a martyrdom or as an act which requires vengeance -- those who support Zarqawi will try to avenge his death and those who oppose him will feel even freer to kill in his absence. If this prediction is wrong -- I'll be happy. But if this prediction is right -- remember you read it here! Of course, Bush would understand this if he understood the concept of justice or even read the Bible he claims to venerate (didn't he ever wonder what the deal with "cities of refuge" was?). At the very least you would think GWB would learn from Israel's mistakes and realize that targetted assassinations don't help anything but only make matters worse (actually GWB is probably thinking "let's do a targetted assassimation like they do in Israel -- those Jewsians are so clever: we should do what they do").

(3) The WH will no doubt use this killing of a major leader of world-terrorism as an example of how the war in Iraq is part and parcel of the Global War on Terror (TM). People should, but given the nature of the memory-hole ADD society we live in unfortunately will not, remember, however, that (A) we had a chance to do this targetting before the war but did not do so precisely so we would have an excuse to fight this war and (B) Zarqawi certainly was, as NPR keeps reminding us, a formidable global terrorist before the Iraq war, but he became so prominant precisely because of our war. If the Iraq war is now about fighting terrorists, it is because we allowed the terrorists to flourish there. Indeed, this was part of the bad-faith "flypaper strategy" used to justify the war -- but such a strategy begs for an insurgency. How would you feel if a hyperpower invaded your country so terrorists would flock there? Would you hate the terrorists or the hyperpower? I would suspect both -- and taking away one enemy will thus allow the insurgents who hate, rather than supported Zarqawi, to focus on us. Of course, this may not be a bad thing -- if all the focus is on us, then we cut and run it may give the Iraqis a unifying victory on which to build a real representative government (for supposed patriots in a country founded by insurgents I am disturbed by the lack of empathy hawks have for the insurgents -- not that the insurgents deserve our sympathy but to solve the problem of the insurgency requires our empathy).

Of course as usual, NPR is carrying water for the admin: repeating every talking point the administration could want in the guise of reporting what the administration will do or interviewing the NPR's definition of the left flank of acceptable discourse, Joe Biden. Does NPR interview a Republican and repeat Dem talking points (except in a tone of voice indicating ridicule?)? No ... so why are they gleefully repeating admin talking points?

Thankfully, Joe Biden actually said the right things rather than doing his best, as the un-official spokesman for the Democratic party, to make Democrats look silly.

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